Emil. Most worthy Madam, Your honor, and your goodnesse is so euident, That your free vndertaking cannot misse A thriuing yssue: there is no Lady liuing So meete for this great errand; please your Ladiship To visit the next roome, Ile presently Acquaint the Queene of your most noble offer, Who, but to day hammered of this designe, But durst not tempt a minister of honour Least she should be deny'd

Paul. Tell her (Emilia) Ile vse that tongue I haue: If wit flow from't As boldnesse from my bosome, le't not be doubted I shall do good, Emil. Now be you blest for it. Ile to the Queene: please you come something neerer

Gao. Madam, if't please the Queene to send the babe, I know not what I shall incurre, to passe it, Hauing no warrant

Pau. You neede not feare it (sir) This Childe was prisoner to the wombe, and is By Law and processe of great Nature, thence Free'd, and enfranchis'd, not a partie to The anger of the King, nor guilty of (If any be) the trespasse of the Queene

Gao. I do beleeue it

Paul. Do not you feare: vpon mine honor, I Will stand betwixt you, and danger.


Scaena Tertia.

Enter Leontes, Seruants, Paulina, Antigonus, and Lords.

Leo. Nor night, nor day, no rest: It is but weaknesse To beare the matter thus: meere weaknesse, if The cause were not in being: part o'th cause, She, th' Adultresse: for the harlot-King Is quite beyond mine Arme, out of the blanke And leuell of my braine: plot-proofe: but shee, I can hooke to me: say that she were gone, Giuen to the fire, a moity of my rest Might come to me againe. Whose there? Ser. My Lord

Leo. How do's the boy? Ser. He tooke good rest to night: 'tis hop'd His sicknesse is discharg'd

Leo. To see his Noblenesse, Conceyuing the dishonour of his Mother. He straight declin'd, droop'd, tooke it deeply, Fasten'd, and fix'd the shame on't in himselfe: Threw-off his Spirit, his Appetite, his Sleepe, And down-right languish'd. Leaue me solely: goe, See how he fares: Fie, fie, no thought of him, The very thought of my Reuenges that way Recoyle vpon me: in himselfe too mightie, And in his parties, his Alliance; Let him be, Vntill a time may serue. For present vengeance Take it on her: Camillo, and Polixenes Laugh at me: make their pastime at my sorrow: They should not laugh, if I could reach them, nor Shall she, within my powre. Enter Paulina.

Lord. You must not enter

Paul. Nay rather (good my Lords) be second to me: Feare you his tyrannous passion more (alas) Then the Queenes life? A gracious innocent soule, More free, then he is iealous

Antig. That's enough

Ser. Madam; he hath not slept to night, commanded None should come at him

Pau. Not so hot (good Sir) I come to bring him sleepe. 'Tis such as you That creepe like shadowes by him, and do sighe At each his needlesse heauings: such as you Nourish the cause of his awaking. I Do come with words, as medicinall, as true; (Honest, as either;) to purge him of that humor, That presses him from sleepe

Leo. Who noyse there, hoe? Pau. No noyse (my Lord) but needfull conference, About some Gossips for your Highnesse

Leo. How? Away with that audacious Lady. Antigonus, I charg'd thee that she should not come about me, I knew she would

Ant. I told her so (my Lord) On your displeasures perill, and on mine, She should not visit you

Leo. What? canst not rule her? Paul. From all dishonestie he can: in this (Vnlesse he take the course that you haue done) Commit me, for committing honor, trust it, He shall not rule me: Ant. La-you now, you heare, When she will take the raine, I let her run, But shee'l not stumble

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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